Streaming video advertisements are increasingly prone to performance issues that test viewers’ patience, according to a new study from Conviva.
The company’s new State of Streaming report for the fourth quarter of 2019 analyzed more than 11 billion ad attempts, and found that streaming ads are slowly improving in quality. However, the length of time viewers have to wait for ads to start nearly doubled, going from 1.14 to 2.27 seconds over the span of a quarter. Now viewers are more likely to exit an ad, with exits before an ad starts rising 49%. Conviva’s study also found ad buffering remains an issue with a 48% increase quarter over quarter.
Video ad performance did improve in some areas. Conviva said 36.5% of streaming ad attempts failed to play as intended in the fourth quarter, down from 39.6% in the third quarter. Ad start failures also improved, going from 35.7% in the third quarter to 30.8%. The company also said that advertisers are shortening their ads, dropping average time down from 38 seconds in the third quarter to 26.6 seconds.
"From recent entrants like Disney+ to soon-to-be-launched services like NBC's Peacock and HBO Max, we've barely begun to scratch the surface of streaming's impact not only on consumer behavior, but also on the multi-billion dollar advertising and entertainment industries," said Conviva CEO Bill Demas in a statement. "As with any disruptive technology, growing pains are inevitable. The companies that win the streaming wars will be those able to offer viewers a fast, clear, reliable experience regardless of where in the world they live, or what device they use."
Overall, Conviva’s new study found that streaming viewing is up 58% year over year, and that video on-demand accounts for 66% of all global streaming.